Submitted By: Timothy Lee
12:30. After competitions. After the chapter meeting. After dark. With final round competitions the next day, I thought I would be able to sleep early. Being told that I was among the best my entire life, I wanted to win at ICDC, the biggest business competition at DECA. Hoping for the best, I tucked myself into the blanket – fully desiring to be wide awake by 6AM. As soon as I dimmed the lights, Kevin, my roommate noticed a strange glow outside the window.
“A light!” he exclaimed.
Although he did not use those exact words, he said something just as intriguing until someone came to observe. Crawling out of the blanket to observe this phenomenon, I looked out of the window towards the other half of the hotel. Sure enough, there was a bright white light moving in an arc on the other side.
“Are they waving to us?” Kevin asked.
A breeze blew through the room. No response. I was trying to sleep. After a moderately sized pause, Caleb spoke.
“Yeah man” he muttered.
He really wasn’t that interested. He was busy– busy playing League of Legends. As Kevin scrambled to decipher the message, I once again attempted to sleep. Before my head could hit the pillow, Matthew woke up from his trance.
“Wow.” he remarked.
Matthew was different from the others. Due to special circumstances, he would not be competing tomorrow. As such, he did not care about when he slept. Joining Kevin in his little adventure, he took out his phone and started waving it ceaselessly back at the window on the other side of the world. Falling into deep sleep, I began to notice rainbow colored flashes and white circles in my eyes. Believe it or not, I was not asleep.
“Dude. Where are your light sticks?” Matthew asked.
As he was rummaging through the bags, I realized what was going on. My roommates switched from their phones to our LED light sticks. At this point, I knew that it would be a long night. Sitting up, I decided that I would check out what was going on. Like a sponge, I absorbed information from my surroundings. Circle. Circle. Circle. Triangle. Triangle. Square. I watched my roommates attempt to communicate to the room on the opposite side of the resort with light patterns. Wave after wave, it was like they were communicating with an ancient civilization. Without means to communicate through verbal or written correspondence they tried everything they could with lights. Lights on. Lights off. Making letters with their arms. Making letters with their lights. Before I knew it, we moved forth a thousand years in technology. Kevin brought out his computer.
“HI!” he typed.
Bursting with excitement, my roommates were like starburst—a package full of happiness for a few moments and then supreme disappointment. After ten or so minutes with the other room still using primitive technology, my roommates quickly grew disappointed. After several more minutes of attempting to communicate, they came to the brink of giving up. Finding the commotion to be intriguing, I decided to make my debut.
“Don’t we have a TV?” I said.
As we upgraded to TVs, the other room upgraded to computers. Thrilled, we tried to decipher what they were saying. After trying to read the message by zooming in with our phones, we realized that the computer was insufficient to communicate. We reasoned that since the computer was not enough, maybe the TV was not either. Our solution? We moved onto calling other rooms. Under the shade of night, we tried to figure out how to use the hotel phone. Unfortunately, we could never get the devices to work. It was now 2AM.
Although I did not sleep early and did not get into the final round of competitions, I did have my most unforgettable DECA experience yet. With this incident, I remembered the importance of enjoying every moment. Although I could have slept, spending times with friends and relaxing a bit never hurt anyone. Take some time out of a busy process or a difficult task and enjoy the moment– you’ll surely have a lot more fun. Rather than just focusing on the end result, this helped me remember the importance of the process.
Notes: Names changed to protect the identity of those mentioned. This story by no means represents a completely factual account of the series of events depicted– it may contain biases, exaggeration, omission of detail, etc.